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JD Sports is expected to pull out of talks over a rescue deal for department store chain Debenhams on Tuesday.
It was the last remaining bidder for the firm, which is in administration, and up until the end of last week had been closing in on a deal.
But retail giant Arcadia is the biggest concession operator in Debenhams and its collapse is understood to have been a factor in JD Sports’ decision.
Without a buyer, Debenhams could be wound down, risking thousands of jobs.
The company had already cut about 6,500 jobs since May, and now has 12,000 workers.
The 242-year-old retailer had been considering a potential sale since the summer after it went into administration in April for the second time in a year.
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